Share this

Legacies of Losing in American Politics, Jeffrey K. Tulis and Nicole Mellow

Reviewed by William D. Adler

BUY

 

Winners are usually at the center of our narratives about politics. In this extraordinary work, however, Jeffrey K. Tulis and Nicole Mellow convincingly demonstrate that losing often produces long-term success. Through case studies of the Anti-Federalists, the presidency of Andrew Johnson, and the presidential campaign of Barry Goldwater, this book challenges dominant narratives in the study of American political development about the durability of regimes and provides a refreshing update to the stale debate over hegemonic liberalism in the United States.

Tulis and Mellow begin by presenting their three cases as “antimoments” in the history of American politics, in which “the losers in each of these major, order-determining contests decisively shaped the subsequent course of American politics” (p. 5). These stand in contrast to the victorious founding moments emphasized in most scholarly portrayals. In these antimoments, they argue, short-term losers build in the possibilities for long-term victory. Importantly, Tulis and Mellow focus on the agency of those involved in these contested events, adding to accounts that center on structural factors in political change.

This begins with the Anti-Federalists, who articulated and critiqued the Federalist project of a strong national polity and industrial economy. The Federalists foug

To continue reading, see options above.

More by This Author

About PSQ's Editor

Demetrios James Caraley

Full Access

Join the Academy of Political Science and automatically receive Political Science Quarterly.

Editor’s spotlight

Remembering Fred I. Greenstein

Eisenhower as an Activist President: A Look at New Evidence
Fred I. Greenstein

Search the Archives

Publishing since 1886, PSQ is the most widely read and accessible scholarly journal with distinguished contributors such as: Lisa Anderson, Robert A. Dahl, Samuel P. Huntington, Robert Jervis, Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Theda Skocpol, Woodrow Wilson

view additional issues

New APS Book

Continuing Issues in U.S. National Security Policy   CONTINUING ISSUES IN U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY POLICY

Most read

Articles | Book reviews

Understanding the Bush Doctrine
Robert Jervis

The Study of Administration
Woodrow Wilson

Notes on Roosevelt's "Quarantine" Speech
Dorothy Borg

view all

About US

Academy of Political Science

The Academy of Political Science, promotes objective, scholarly analyses of political, social, and economic issues. Through its conferences and publications APS provides analysis and insight into both domestic and foreign policy issues.

Political Science Quarterly

With neither an ideological nor a partisan bias, PSQ looks at facts and analyzes data objectively to help readers understand what is really going on in national and world affairs.

Stay Connected

newsstand locator
About APS